Just days after the Tories overturned the vote on fox hunting for fear of losing, they approved a huge dog breeding center for animals sold for vivisection
The Tories have approved plans to build a replacement dog breeding center for medical testing – to conduct experiments on hundreds of animals.
Animal rights campaigners, including Brian May, reacted furiously to the decision just two days after the government postponed the vote on watering down the fox hunting ban.
The facility will be located in a village in East Yorkshire and will breed beagles which will be used in scientific and medical testing.
The East Riding of Yorkshire Council rejected plans to build such a center in Grimston two years ago.
But Secretary of State Greg Clark has now overturned the refusal to allow B&K Universal to build the center.
B&K is owned by an American company, Marshall BioResources, which operates sites around the world that breed and sell animals for vivisection laboratories.
Originally there were much more ambitious plans to build a facility where 2,000 beagles and ferrets at a time could be bred for animal experimentation.
This application, made in November 2013, failed when it was rejected by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
The latest, smaller proposal – to create an enclosed facility housing 200 beagles and 180 puppies, as well as ferrets – was later rejected twice after strong protests.
But now that plan has been authorized, despite the fury of 35,000 PETA supporters and animal rights activists.
A PETA spokesperson said: “It is appalling that, despite the objections of over 35,000 PETA supporters, the government has ignored the views of public and local authorities.
“[It has] condemned thousands of dogs to be caged, injured and killed in experiments by accepting a proposal to build a new beagle breeding facility.
“Secretary of State Greg Clark has shown a total lack of compassion, common sense and intelligence.
National Anti-Vivisection Society)
“Breeding dogs for experiments supports a shameful trade and is a thing of the past, when we didn’t know we had other options.”
Queen guitarist Brian May added: “I’m sickened to hear that this facility has to go ahead, ignoring the opinions of the public and local authorities, and condemning these man’s best friends to thousands. unethical and unnecessary testing.
“It’s a dreadful message that Britain needs to send to the world.”
Beagles are often chosen as good dogs to test because they have a placid and often calm nature, which also makes them perfect pets.
Currently, B&K imports dogs and breeds them on one site, and this center would mean they could breed their own puppies.
Only one other dedicated laboratory beagle breeding facility is believed to exist in the UK, Harlan Interfauna kennels at Wyton near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
Animal rights activists are engaged in an ongoing campaign to shut down the kennels.
A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said: “Ministers are required to assess the application’s compliance with national and local planning legislation and policy, and have granted it clearance only for purposes planning reasons.”
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A B&K spokesperson said: “We warmly welcome the sensible decision to grant planning permission for our breeding site, based on the merits of the proposals under the Planning Act.
“However, we are disappointed that it took so long for the right result to arrive. It has now been almost two years since the bid was submitted.
“We commend the Secretary of State for not being distracted by the misleading arguments of animal rights groups during the planning appeal process.
“Our goal now is to improve animal welfare by providing modern animal housing, ending the need to import dogs from our remote breeding sites, [and] provide a better supply of animals to the UK medical research community.
“We must extend our heartfelt thanks to the many groups and individuals who have seen the benefits of our program and have stood up to support the cause by publicly voicing their views to the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State.
“That tremendous, forceful endorsement went a long way to securing the right outcome – in fact, the only sensible decision.”